Numsa: Talks to end strike resume

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BR NUMSA  154 Independent Newspapers. The National Union of Metalworkers striking workers march in central Johannesburg. The union wants a 12 percent salary increase, the scrapping of labour brokers, and a one-year bargaining agreement. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Johannesburg - Wage talks between South African metal and engineering employers and the sector's main union will resume on Tuesday in an effort to end a strike that is sapping Africa's most advanced economy, a union spokesman said.

More than 200,000 employees affiliated to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) downed tools on July 2, demanding 12-15 percent wage increases.

The stoppage has disrupted the supply of car parts and affected construction work at two crucial power stations for state utility Eskom.

At Tuesday's meeting, Numsa is due to hear a response from the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa on a wage proposal put forward by the union at the weekend, Numsa spokesman Castro Ngobese said.

“If they agree to it, then we must go to our members and indicate to them that this is how far we've gone as a union,” Ngobese said.

He declined to give details of the proposal.

Numsa has already rejected a pay increase offer of between 9 and 10 percent.

The industrial action has dealt a further blow to the ailing South African economy, coming almost immediately after a five-month strike by miners in the platinum sector. - Reuters


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